India honours sporting stars

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Arjuna Award
for the year-2012 to Deepa Malik for Paralympics 
New Delhi: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee gave away national sports and adventure awards in a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan here in New Delhi today. 

In a momentous recognition of 2012 the role and contribution of the Indian Railways in promoting sports in the country, Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) of Ministry of Railways has bagged “Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar”, for the year 2012 which is a part of National Sports Awards, announced by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. This year’s award to the Railways is in the category called “Financial support for sport excellence. Chairman, Railway Board, Vinay Mittal received the award on behalf of RSPB. The award carries a trophy and citation. The Indian Railways was also the winner of the first ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar’ in 2009 in the category “Employment of Sportspersons and Sports Welfare Measures”.

Six Railway sportspersons who are among the winners of Arjuna Awards 2012 also received their awards. The awardees are Laishram Bombayla Devi (Eastern Railway- Archery), Sudha Singh (Central Railway- Athletics), Joydeep Karmakar (South Eastern Railway-Shooting), Sandeep Sejwal (Western Railway-Swimming), Narsingh Yadav (Western Railway -Wrestling), Rajinder Kumar (Western Railway -Wrestling).

In addition, Athletics coach Virender Poonia from North Western Railway who is among the winners of Dronacharya Awards for 2012 also recived his award.

National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events. Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for three consecutive years preceding the year of award.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, introduced from 2009 with a view to recognizing the contribution made to sports development by entities other than sportspersons and coaches, is given in four categories, namely, Community Sports Identification and Nurturing of Building Young Talent, Financial Support for Sports Excellence, Establishment and Management of Sports Academies of Excellence and Employment of Sportspersons and Sports Welfare Measures.

Indian Railways always takes lead in promoting sports in the country. Railways sports persons have been participating in prestigious national as well as international competitions like Asiad, Commonwealth Games, Olympics, other international level sports events and bringing laurels to the nation. With a galaxy of promising and outstanding sports persons on its roll since the inception of Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) in 1928, Indian Railways have always been striving hard to take up the new challenges and bring laurels to the nation.

With this year’s new awards, Indian Railway Pariwar is now proud to have 19 Padamshrees, 3 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees, 146 Arjuna Awardees, 7 Dhyanchand Awardees, 6 Dronacharya awardees and 2 Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar to its credit.
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